What are the latest advancements in cardiac surgery?
• ECMO technology which stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
• The device is a small and portable version of the heart-lung machine used in open-heart surgery and can be used to treat both primary cardiac and also pulmonary problems.
What are the benefits of ECMO?
• This technology allows a patient's blood to be pumped and oxygenated allowing the heart and lungs to rest.
• Traditionally patients with lung injury are treated on a ventilator pushing oxygen into the patient’s lungs. If the lungs are badly damaged, the injured lung could become more damaged.
• ECMO breaks this cycle and allows the lungs to be rested while the body heals the damage. This is similar to the way a plaster cast supports a broken arm while the bone repairs.
• ECMO does not heal the underlying condition; it provides support for healing to occur.
• ECMO can also support a failing heart or circulatory system- such as patients who are in shock from reversible causes.
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